[TL;DR: This is a tribute to an instrument which changed my life and is now gone. Lots of good stuff came from this experience, which I try to encapsulate herein. The piece also helped me raise funds to help set up the new one, and I’m very, very grateful that it worked! Check out the page if you’re curious.]
In mourning the loss of my trusty club cello of the last 15 years, I’d like to share the origin story of our pairing. I never imagined I’d learn so much from — and come to love — a piece of wood quite like I did this mossy, broken-down, rough-and-tumble, squeaky old, hoarse, janky and forgotten cello when it came into my life completely uninvited one day in 2004. …
I’ll give credit where it’s due: Spotify healed me.
I had come to an emotional nadir of sorts, lost homes, jobs, people, communities, family and direction. Living in my car, alone in the world.
Which happens, but I couldn’t stand the alienation I felt from myself. It was 2010, 11, 12. Jmmy and I had a decent little touring operation but no financial traction and shaky creative footing (not writing new songs, just playing the ones we already had into the ground.) I got sick, destitute, had real trouble looking in the mirror and regularly contemplated suicide.
Enter Spotify, a psychic godsend. A musical pharmaceutical. Royalties be damned, in a dark moment I could dial up an obscure record from my childhood to reconnect with a lost part of myself. Maybe Praxis, Pete Townsend, Ahmad Jamal or Ravel or Pat Benatar or Mingus Ah Um or Naked City or “Cakewalk Into Town” or “Is That All There Is” or “Summertime Blues”. …